- Saturday, March 28 1998 -
NCAA Final Four (at San Antonio, TX)
Kentucky - 86 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Final Rank 5th by AP]
Stanford - 85 (Head Coach: Mike Montgomery) - [Final Rank 10th by AP]
|Pete Van Elswyk||3||0||1||0||0||1||2||0||1||0||1||0||0||1|
Halftime Score: Stanford 37, Kentucky 32
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Duke 86 - 84|||||Utah 78 - 69|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 7 No. 30. (All Rights Reserved)
Cats Catapult Cardinal:
Kentucky made it to its 3rd consecutive national championship game as the Cats held on to defeat a very talented and determined Stanford Cardinal team 86-85 in overtime in San Antonio, Texas during the NCAA Final Four. Kentucky was the winner of the South Regional, and a #2 seed, while Stanford won the Midwest Regional, and was a #3 seed. In the last AP poll, Kentucky had been #5, with Stanford #10.
Kentucky got the opening tap, but Edwards missed inside when he was surrounded by bigger players. Weems also missed for Stanford, Turner had a turnover, Padgett fouled Madsen, and after 1 minute of play there was no score. Finally Lee hit a long 3. Edwards missed again (and after this, CBS commentator Billy Packer said that Tim Young might be able to physically dominate Nazr Mohammed :-)). Lee was fouled by Nazr and made both FTs, for a 5-0 lead. Padgett airballed a 3, and Lee hit a long 1 for an 8-0 Stanford edge. Mohammed was fouled inside and made 1 FT, then Sheppard hit a 14 ft shot and it was 8-3. But Weems hit a 3 from the corner, and after the 1st TV timeout, Young hit a turnaround shot to make it 13-3 Stanford. Evans and Sauer traded shots from the floor, then Edwards made an old-fashioned 3. Evans had a layup past the defense, Magloire hooked his 1st shot in, and Mills nailed a 16 footer, to allow Kentucky to close to 15-14 at the next TV timeout. After several missed 3s, Collins was fouled and made both his shots, and Van Elswyk made 1 of 2 FTs to put Stanford up 18-14. At the 8.5 minute mark Stanford led 23-17 after a Weems 3, and Magloire connected from the charity stripe to make it 23-19 Stanford. Padgett received a Madsen foul and made both FT attempts, to make it 23-21 at the next TV timeout. But Weems hit again from the corner on a 3. Magloire had a putback of a Smith miss, and Sheppard nailed a 3 to close it to 26-25 Stanford. Lee hit a long 3 (Stanford seemed to have little problem with this), and Madsen got a dunk to make it 31-25. Padgett hooked a shot in, Sheppard hit a 3, and Young banked a shot it to make it 33-30. Padgett got a nice assist to a driving Sheppard to close it to 33-32, but Young got another bank, and Collins hit a FT pair to make it 37-32, which stood at the half. Kentucky tried to get off the last shot of the half, but Sheppard missed a 3 try. Stanford had only 2 1st half turnovers (Kentucky only had 4), and the Cats had closed to within 1 pt on 5 occasions, only to be turned back each time. The difference in the game at that pt was that the Cardinal had 6 1st half 3s, compared to only 1 for Kentucky.
UK stole the inbounds pass to start the 2nd half, and Young picked up his 2nd foul. Edwards connected on a 19 footer. Young hit an 8 footer as Mohammed flopped down (no foul), and Madsen banked a shot in, giving Stanford a 41-34 edge. Sheppard hit 2 FTs, but Madsen had a putback basket, and Sauer hit a 3 to make it 46-36 with 17.5 minutes remaining in the game, Stanford's longest lead of the game. The Cats answered with 2 consecutive Mohammed hooks, then there was a Lee 3, then a Mohammed reverse layup, and it was 49-42 Stanford by the next TV timeout. Upon resumption of play, Edwards hit a 3, and Sheppard made 1 FT to close to 49-48 Stanford. Moseley hit 2 FTs, and Lee was fouled by Magloire and made both FTs to make it 53-48 Cardinal. Turner hit a 16 footer, then Mohammed had a clean steal and drove to the basket for a dunk, and Padgett hit 2 FTs to make it 54-53 Kentucky (UK's 1st lead of the day). Mohammed added a bank for a 56-53 margin, but Young got a layup. Weems' putback of his own miss made it 57-56 Stanford, but Mohammed made 2 FTs to put UK up 58-57 at the next TV timeout. The game was nip and tuck after this - Padgett made 2 FTs, Lee made a 17 ft bank, Mohammed got a layup, Edwards drove for a basket and was fouled, completing the 3 and giving the Cats a 64-61 lead with 5 minutes left in regulation. Weems made a difficult banked shot, and later added 2 FTs to give SU a 65-64 edge. Padgett hit a hook, Madsen made 1 FT, Sheppard hit a 3 when he was not quite squared up, and when Sheppard got yet another 3, Kentucky led 72-68 with just under 2 minutes left (this was UK's largest lead of regulation). Madsen put back a Lee miss, and Turner made 1 FT when fouled, to bring the score to 73-70 Kentucky. Lee hit a closely guarded 3 to tie the game at 73-73 with 25 seconds left in regulation. Turner tried to drive and get fouled in UK's final possession, but there was no call, and Stanford got the ball with 1.1 s on the clock (and didn't hit anything).
Stanford stole the tap while the ball was on the way up, but Weems missed a shot, and Young fouled out while trying to rebound. Mohammed made 1 FT to make it 74-73 UK. Madsen turned the ball over while trying to inbound, and Sheppard drove and banked a shot in to make it 76-73 Kentucky. Mohammed hit a turnaround 10 footer to make it 78-73 with 3 minutes left (Kentucky's largest lead of the game). But tenacious Stanford came back as Collins put back his own miss, Edwards made 1 FT when fouled, and Lee was fouled on a 3 (making all 3 FTs) to close the gap to 79-78 UK. Padgett passed up a relatively open 3, instead tried to dunk, and hit the ball on the rim, kicking it far away. Somehow the referees gave the ball to UK. Later TV replay clearly showed a Stanford player touching both the net and rim while the ball was bouncing, but was not inside the basket [JNB note - and despite the TV commentators' claim that you could see contact, I could not detect that the Stanford player touched the ball, only the rim and net]. Sheppard hit a 3, and UK led 82-78 with roughly 1.5 minutes left. Collins made 1 FT at the 1 minute mark, and Turner did the same. Mendez, while running down court, hit a 3 from approximately 25 ft away, closing the gap to 83-82. Turner was fouled by Lee and made both FTs, then Sheppard was fouled on Madsen's 5th. Jeff made only 1 of 2 FTs, and it was 86-82 UK with about 15 seconds remaining. Padgett cradled the ball on the inbounds, and appeared to be fouled, but the refs instead called a jump ball (possession to Kentucky) with 6 seconds left. On the inbounds, UK threw the ball far in the backcourt (so that if a turnover happened, Stanford still had to bring the ball nearly the length of the court). Turner caught it, and was fouled, but he missed both FT attempts. Stanford got the ball, but only about 2.5 seconds remained, and Sauer had to throw up a wild fling which was short of the mark, and UK escaped 86-85 in OT.
Stanford was only the 5th team to outrebound Kentucky in a game this season. The game was Kentucky's 1st overtime win in the 1990s in the NCAA (the Cats lost to Duke in OT in 1992, Michigan in 1993, and Arizona in 1997, before picking up this win). Typically, the NCAA televises the best matchup, or the biggest name team, as the 2nd game played in the Final Four (it helps both overall ratings and West Coast viewing if they do this). Up until last weekend, UK appeared in the 2nd game in every Final Four appearance going back to 1975 (when UCLA and Louisville played the 2nd contest).
Jeff Sheppard had a career high 27 pts in this game, and every shot was needed. He did not miss a FG in the 2nd half (missing only 1 FT attempt). After the game he had 1075 career pts at Kentucky and moves up to #37 on the UK all-time scoring list (passing Rex Chapman who had 1073 pts in 2 seasons). Mohammed had 17 of his 18 pts in the 2nd half (he played only 4 minutes in the 1st) as he picked up 2 early fouls.
Nazr Mohammed (#13) blocks a shot by Jarron Collins
Scott Padgett (#34) tries to keep the ball away from Jarron Collins
Jamaal Magloire defends against Stanford's Tim Young